Singapore Airlines' Historic First Commercial Flight of the Airbus A380

By: 
October 25, 2007

After long delays, the Airbus A380 completed its first commercial flight today. The world’s largest passenger jet flew from Singapore to Sydney – on its first commercial flight through Singapore Airlines. Airbus delivered the A380 last week.

The maiden flight included 455 passengers and a crew of 30, including pilots. The entire flight lasted seven hours.

The double-decker Airbus A380 is as tall as a seven-story building, has wingspan almost the length of a football field and is capable of carrying 853 passengers in an all-economy class. At last week’s ceremony, Singapore Airlines revealed its new cabin interior, which features 471 seats in three classes: 12 Singapore Airlines Suites (complete with the first full-size standalone bed, flat screen TV and laptop connections), 60 business class seats (which turned into wide flat beds and also have a bar area for seat holders) and 399 economy class seats (with more leg and knee room).

Singapore’s A380 is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines which greatly contribute to the A380’s environmental friendliness. As a result, the A380 is setting new environmental benchmarks in air transport. The A380 has an unmatched fuel efficiency of less than three litres per passenger per 100 km, according to the company’s website. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000.

Last March the Airbus A380 landed in the U.S. for the first time when two of the jumbo jets touched down in New York and Los Angeles. Both New York’s Kennedy Airport and LA International are spending $300 million to widen runways and provide special docking equipment for the plane, which has a wingspan almost the length of a football field, according to a story on CNN.com. The double-decker plane has 555 passenger seats.

The largest commercial airplane had planned its initial test flight for last April. Design News Senior Editor Joseph Ogando, last year, covered how Airbus engineers decided which materials to use in building the world’s largest commercial airliner.

Following the October 15th delivery ceremony, the A380 was flown for its entry into service with Singapore Airlines.

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